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Facts

Percentage of Cuba's sugar industry controlled by the United States in 1895: 90%31

Number of years Cubans had been fighting for their independence from Spain before the Spanish-American War: at least 3032

The presidential election of 1896 marked the first time in the nation's history when big business contributed massive support to back a candidate. Republican William McKinley, earning this financial backing, won the popular vote by a small margin over his opponent William Jennings Bryan.33

Contrary to a common myth that the United States brought education to the Philippines, by 1900, the Philippine Islands had an elaborate public school system, colleges, trade schools, agricultural institutes, and universities, including one of the oldest European-style universities in Asia. The University of Santo Tomas was established in 1611, a quarter of a century before Harvard. It offered courses in philosophy, medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, theology, literature, and the arts.34

Throughout the wars in Cuba and the Philippines, political cartoonists portrayed Cubans and Filipinos as pickaninnies, savages, and buffoons—widely popular stereotypical images of African-Americans.35

During the Philippine-American War, Filipino guerrilla soldiers distributed leaflets to African-American soldiers in an attempt to convince them that they were simply being used as instruments of their white "masters." The leaflet referred to the brutal lynching of Sam Hose, a black farmer from Georgia who had been chained to a tree, mutilated, doused with oil, and burned before hundreds of spectators. At least a dozen black soldiers defected and fought on the side of the Filipinos.36

Estimated number of Filipinos who died as a result of the Philippine-American War: somewhere between 200,000 and 1 million

In April 1899, the San Francisco Call got a hold of a letter written by Corporal Sam Gillis of the First California Volunteers to his parents. "We killed over 300 natives the first night," he wrote, "If they fire a shot from a house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now." Casualty reports and rumors like these fueled increasing criticism of the war among Americans.37

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